Artemis on the Trail-Picking the Start Date

At the time I decided to attempt a thru-hike I was closer to my refrigerator than a trail. Picking the date for my northbound Appalachian Trail thru-hike was not easy and changed twice. Living so close to Springer Mountain, I am familiar with the effect and strain the hiking crush can have on other hikers and the trail itself. Picking a less crowded time of the year was important while allowing time to reach Maine. The more important factor was physical readiness. As mentioned in the previous blog, I decided to attempt the thru-hike four months ago. I was grossly overweight and out of shape (I am still overweight, just better leg definition).  With stubborn grit, determination, and sheer adoration for winter hiking, I picked Feb. 20, 2019, to start my NOBO.

Then It Changed

The first of September I recorded a video for my hiking vlog, Artemis on the Trail, introducing the YouTube channel to inspire others.  In the video, I mentioned I would not be ready by February, and opting for a flip-flop (start in Virginia, hike to Maine, and then from Virginia back to Georgia) beginning in April. Then it hit me… I had not yet started the trail, and I already made a concession, violating the very reason I wanted to thru-hike. A flip-flop did not offer the cathartic journey of hiking from my house in Georgia to my dearly missed home state, Maine. The old Artemis, who once trained for the off chance Special Forces would open to female soldiers, would have slapped the crap out of the current Artemis. In Army terms, I pulled up my boot straps, tucked in my dingle dangle, and started to bust major tail (true Army style would have littered this sentence with profanity).

Artemis on the Trail—The Official Date

Two months later, after working out and hiking like a maniac, I was down 40 pounds and could hike ten miles a day. I confidently and officially announced the second date with a fancy video, ensuring there was no going back. The date is Feb. 10, 2019. Here are the reasons: low crowds, performing better in the cold, expert winter hiker, excessive sweating is my kryptonite, lose more weight before the hot months, more time to slowly hike through Maine, and tremendous impatience.

70 More Days—More Prep Work

Three days a week I am knocking it out on the treadmill for two hours, with another hour of core training. The other two days I am on the trail crossing a mountain.  During January, I will stick to a treadmill or track to avoid a pretrail injury. The gear has all been selected and laid out on my dining room table waiting for me to film my gear selection video. I have more blogs to write, videos to work on, and massive mail drops to put together, but I can say with a happy heart that Feb. 10, 2019, Artemis is on the Trail.

Tag along here on The Trek, YouTube, or social media to share laughs, tears, struggles, and inspiration as I face trail challenges, heartaches, joys, pain, and Appalachian rain. Click on my author page for the links. Your support and love inspires me and keeps me moving. See you on the trail!

Putting Artemis on the trail

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